World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Forestry in New Zealand

Article Id: WHEBN0026274698
Reproduction Date:

Title: Forestry in New Zealand  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Economy of New Zealand, Forestry in New Zealand, Forests Act 1949, Woodchipping in New Zealand, Ministry for Primary Industries (New Zealand)
Collection: Forestry in New Zealand
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Forestry in New Zealand

Kauri (Agathis australis) was extensively logged for its desirable timber. This surviving tree is called 'Te Matua Ngahere'.

Forestry in New Zealand has a history starting with European settlement in the 19th century and is now an industry worth four percent of GDP. Much of the original native forest cover was burnt off but it was also logged until 2000. Extensive forests have been planted, predominantly with fast-growing cultivars of the Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata). Wood chips, whole logs, lumber and paper products are exported from New Zealand.

Native forest logging on public land attracted opposition with protests and environmental groups becoming very active until it ended in 2000. Logging of native forests now only occurs on private land if it is shown to be sustainable.


  • History 1
  • Plantation forests 2
  • Woodchipping 3
  • Opposition to native forest logging 4
  • Legislation 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
    • Notes 7.1
    • Further reading 7.2
  • External links 8


Milling of New Zealand's extensive native forests was one of the earliest industries in the European settlement of the country. The long, straight hardwood from the kauri was ideal for ship masts and spars. As the new colony was established, timber was the most common building material, and vast areas of native forest were cleared. Rimu, tōtara, matai, and miro were the favoured timbers. The Monterey Pine, Pinus radiata was introduced to New Zealand in the 1850s.[1] It thrived in the conditions, reaching maturity in 28 years, much faster than in its native California. It was found to grow well in the infertile acidic soil of the volcanic plateau, where attempts at agriculture had failed. Thomas William Adams experimented with P. radiata and other trees in Canterbury from the 1870s, and promoted the early forestry industry.[2] The Government initiated planting of exotic forests in 1899 at Whakarewarewa, near Rotorua. This was to address growing timber shortages as slow-growing native forests were exhausted.[3] In the 1930s, vast areas of land were planted in pinus ratiata by relief workers. The largest tract was the 188,000-hectare Kāingaroa forest, the largest plantation forest in the world. As the major forests matured, processing industries such as the Kinleith Mill at Tokoroa and the Tasman Mill at Kawerau were established.

Plantation forests

A logging truck being unloaded at Port Chalmers

Plantation forests of various sizes can now be found in all regions of New Zealand except Central Otago and Fiordland. In 2006 their total area was 1.8 million hectares, with 89% in Pinus radiata and 5% in Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)[4] Log harvesting in 2006 was 18.8 million m3, down from 22.5 million m3 in 2003. This is projected to rise as high as 30 million m3 as newer forests mature. The value of all forestry exports (logs, chips, sawn timber, panels and paper products) for the year ended 31 March 2006 was $NZ 3.62 billion. This is projected to rise to $4.65 billion by 2011. Australia accounts for just over 25% of export value, mostly paper products, followed by Japan, South Korea, China and the United States.[4] Within the New Zealand economy, forestry accounts for approximately 4% of national GDP. On the global stage, the New Zealand forestry industry is a relatively small contributor in terms of production, accounting for 1% of global wood supply for industrial purposes.[5]


Softwood and hardwood wood chips are exported from New Zealand.

Opposition to native forest logging


See also



  1. ^ New Zealand Official yearbook, 1990
  2. ^ McKelvey, Peter (August 1991). "Thomas William Adams 1842-1919 Early farm forester". N. Z. Forestry. 
  3. ^ Malcolm McKinnon (2009-03-09). Volcanic Plateau region - From rimu and totara to pinus radiata. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand (Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatu- Taonga).  
  4. ^ a b "Situation and outlook for New Zealand agriculture and forestry". NZ Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. 2007. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  5. ^ "The Forestry Industry in New Zealand". Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Retrieved 2009-03-16. 

Further reading

  • Roche, Michael; (1990) History of New Zealand Forestry. Wellington: GP Print Ltd. ISBN 0-477-00004-5
  • Boon, Kevin; (2005) The Forests: Developments in New Zealand History. Waiatarua Publishing. ISBN 1-86963-201-X
  • Mike Colley, ed. (2005). NZIF Forestry Handbook (4th edition ed.). NZ: NZ Institute of Forestry. 

External links

  • Ministry for Primary Industries
  • New Zealand Institute of Forestry
  • NZ Wood - industry promotional website

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.